How Theresa May brokered peace deal with Boris Johnson amid resignation fears

How Theresa May brokered peace deal with Boris Johnson amid resignation fears

Kerry Wise
September 21, 2017

The intervention prompted calls for Mrs May to sack the Foreign Secretary over the breakdown in Cabinet discipline, as well as reports Mr Johnson might be ready to resign if his vision is not heeded in Mrs May's speech.

Lord Hague wrote: "It is putting it a bit too politely to say, in the wake of Boris Johnson's article in this newspaper on Saturday, that the approach of senior ministers to the Brexit negotiations appears to lack co-ordination".

The Foreign Secretary is understood to accept the idea of the United Kingdom paying its dues to Brussels during a transition period - but not for continued payments for access to the European single market on a permanent basis.

Rumours have circulated that Johnson told friends he could "not live" with the proposed deal, according to the Telegraph. Such a move would likely fracture the Cabinet and lead to new parliamentary elections-or an internal battle for leadership of the Conservative Party.

As such, Mrs May needs to calculate whether she, and the country, are better off with Boris Johnson in the Cabinet - or not - because Brexit is complicated enough without the past week's posturing and analogies ranging from back seat drivers to singing birds.

It is understood that May's speech will avoid discussing the finer details of a future UK-EU relationship, which would leave the door open for either of the options reportedly favoured by different members of the cabinet.

Allies of Mr Johnson suggested he would walk out if Mrs May opted for a so-called "EEA-minus" option, including payments for single market access and tying Britain to many European Union rules.

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"We are working together, that is the key thing, to make sure that Britain can take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit".

Friday's speech is expected to be the most important update since May's Lancaster House address in January and is thought to include an attempt to break the deadlock over the "divorce bill".

But Mr Johnson denied plans to resign as he returned to his hotel from a four-mile run yesterday.

But Johnson has staunchly denied the claims, telling reporters in NY that the cabinet is "a nest of singing birds".

When asked if she was confident of getting consensus on her Brexit strategy at Thursday's meeting, May said: "Yes, the cabinet is absolutely clear about the destination we are aiming for in relation to our European negotiations".

Mrs May said: "Boris is doing good work as Foreign Secretary".

Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme this morning, prominent Remainer Clarke said the foreign secretary's "personal publicity" was an "irrelevant nuisance".